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Letter to the Editor: Soccer Mom Impressed with Planning Board, Not With Field

Pamela Louis witnessed the work up close that the Planning Board is doing to keep the Toll Brothers in check.

Editor's note: A newcomer to Tarrytown Planning Board meetings, one so-called “soccer mom” found herself impressed with the Board's efforts to monitor the Toll Brothers and get the soccer swamp fixed. Have thoughts you want to share with our readers as a letter to the editor? Email me at krista.madsen@patch.com

I was incredibly impressed with this Planning Board’s dedication to making sure that the project is properly constructed and, crucially important in this particular instance, the Tarrytown Planning Board is making sure that the new construction is in keeping with the unique characteristics of the Wilson Park neighborhood and Tarrytown lakes.   

I saw on Facebook’s Tarrytown Lakes page about the construction and flooded/unfinished soccer field a couple weeks ago; I’m your typical “soccer mom” with a 7-year-old son and we’re always looking for a new place to play - there aren’t a lot of great recreational spaces in hilly Tarrytown.

As such, Mr. DeRocker’s note about the project caught my attention as I’ve been wondering what was going on in that neighborhood and with the newly flooded mess of a soccer field there. Once I spoke with the DeRockers and realized this was part and parcel of the same project, I decided to go to the .

As an aside, I’m an attorney with some background and experience in land use law and I have appeared before several planning and zoning boards in connections with applications in Westchester County (although I have never had occasion to represent a client before Tarrytown’s Planning Board and I don’t currently practice).

One of the functions of a community’s Planning Board is to play a significant role in preserving the character of a community or neighborhood facing the planning stages of a proposed construction project. I have to say how incredibly impressed I was with THIS particular Board – not only for taking that portion of its role so seriously (as evidenced by the Board’s concerns for the visual impact on the park and the historic structures in the neighborhood) but also for their issue-spotting and intelligent questioning of the developer. 

While Tarrytown would surely love the tax revenue from this development project and the developer would very obviously like to push ahead with construction, the Tarrytown Planning Board is properly putting the community’s aesthetics and historic nature, and the visual impact of the parkland, on the front burner here. Furthermore, the Board is putting in the time and effort needed in order to ensure that the completed project is one which the whole community will appreciate the aesthetic of.   

And much to my delight as a town resident with a small child, I was pleased to see the Board take that soccer field issue seriously; while the developer’s primary goal is to get those houses built, the residents have a broader goal for the community and fortunately this Board is attentive to the concerns of the entire Village in this regard. If you haven’t been over to the soccer field, it’s worth taking a camera with you for a photo of the ponds and resident ducks that are emblematic of the problem (bring breadcrumbs for their breakfast as we do, if you’re so inclined!).

A quick look will make clear that no child should be playing soccer on that unsafe field with those large ponds of deep standing water. Thankfully, it appears the TarrytownPlanning Board is taking steps to ensure that the developer remediates this condition so that we can have full use of the facility for the Village shortly. 

- Pamela Louis

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